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For additional information on History at UC Merced, please visit the History website.

For degree requirements, please visit the SSHA Advising website and visit the Registrar's searchable General Catalog to view course offerings


History is a set of evolving rules and tools that allows us to interpret processes and phenomena in the past with clarity and rigor. It requires evidence, sophisticated use of information, and a deliberative stance to explain change and continuity over time.

As a profoundly public pursuit, it is essential to active and empathetic public engagement and world citizenship and requires effective communication to make the past accessible for multiple audiences. It is a craft with a set of professional ethics and standards that demand peer review, citation and toleration for the provisional nature of knowledge

History students working on projectThe History major at UC Merced emphasizes the many ways in which connections between regions and nations have existed over time. All students gain familiarity with world history, learn interpretive skills and take at least one course focused on research, and also undertake a capstone research project; they have opportunities to apply their classroom learning to research problems outside the classroom, contributing to expanding public knowledge and awareness of cultural issues. Students may explore thematic topics such as environmental history, the history of science and technology, and the history of migration and cultural intersections, as well as issues of world, national, state and local history.

Though rooted in the study of the past, the tools employed by historians are useful in a broad array of modern careers and professions. History, with it focus on research, writing and augmentation, is well known as an excellent preparation for graduate school, law school and other professions. History majors may also find employment related to their degrees in schools, museums, editing and publishing, archives, historic preservation, federal, state and local agencies, and as consultants and contractors.

Program Learning Outcomes

Our faculty members work to prepare students for a holistic understanding of the knowledge and skills of the discipline. Upon completion of the degree, we expect students to demonstrate competency in the following areas:

Historical Knowledge

  • Place particular events in broader historical contexts, including broad patterns of historical change, structures and representations of power, and forms of identity.
  • Analyze change over time.
  • Explain how events of the past have influenced the present.

Critical Thinking

  • Analyze primary sources
  • Assess the relationship between historical contexts and events, ideas and processes.
  • Identify and summarize an author’s argument.
  • Identify points of agreement and disagreement among conflicting interpretations of the past.
  • Construct a well-developed thesis and a persuasive argument.

Research Skills

  • Use the library, relevant databases and indexes and the Internet to identify and locate sources.
  • Develop bibliographies of primary and secondary sources.
  • Master conventions for citations and bibliographies.
  • Produce an original research paper (20-page minimum) that analyzes primary and secondary sources.

Written and Oral Communication Skills

  • Organize an analytical essay that sustains an argument over the entire length of the paper.
  • Present information in lucid, grammatically correct prose.
  • Construct paragraphs with effective topic sentences.
  • Make a well-organized and clear oral presentation.

Refer to the Curriculum Map to see the coherency between the Program Learning Outcomes and our course offerings. 

Alumni Success

Student graduates from the History program are engaging in graduate studies and careers. A few of these after-college endeavors are listed below.

Graduate School

Student graduates from History are studying at California State University, Northridge; University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California.


Student graduates from History are working in a variety of professional settings including private companies, schools and school districts, and with members of the state Legislature.


Last Updated: May 2016